Shelf Control

It’s Banned Books Week! Our library system has one of the largest collections in the country, so come celebrate your freedom to read by checking out a book that has sparked controversy. Books are often banned from schools and libraries for sexual content and violence, but we wanted to explore some of the stranger reasons books have been taken off the shelves. Please enjoy five book bans that made us laugh, and click on the titles to find the books in our catalog! 

1. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

In 1969, child psychologist Bruno Bettelheim wrote that it could be traumatizing for children to read about the character being sent to bed without dinner. This led to the book being banned in schools and libraries throughout the country. 


2. The Dictionary                                                                                                           

Yes, you read that correctly. Both the American Heritage dictionary and the Merriam-Webster dictionary have been taken out of schools across the country for defining “provocative” words. While controversies over this reference book began in the 1970s, it was banned as recently as 2010 in a California school district. 


3. The Diary of Anne Frank                                      

While this book has been banned several times for sexually-explicit passages, it has also been challenged as “pro-Jewish propaganda” with claims that Anne Frank never actually existed. The most head-scratching reason for banning the book came in 1983, when the Alabama State Textbook Committee called it “a real downer.”


4. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White                                                             

Parents in Kansas in 2006 got this book banned because of the talking animals. They complained that showing lesser creatures with human abilities of communication is highly disrespectful to God, and it must be the work of the devil.


5. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr.

This innocent picture book was banned by the Texas Board of Education in 2010 thanks to a misunderstanding. The author happens to have the same name as a Marxist theorist, and no one “bothered” to check if it was the same person. What a great reminder of the importance of doing your research.

All of this content was found on The Week’s 17 most surprising banned books, so check it out if you want to see more!

Written and Edited by: Nicole

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The UGL is Fifty!

The UGL is the big “5-0!” This fall, the UGL is celebrating its 50th anniversary and will host a series of events throughout the semester for all students to enjoy. In addition, we will showcase student work on merchandise for the UGL@50 celebration — thank you to Taylor Chism, whose design was selected as the first place winner of the UGL’s 50th Anniversary Design Competition, as well as the other competition winners, for their design contributions! To see all three winners’ artwork from this competition, please see our past blog post

Historic view of the UGL in 1970.

The UGL in 1970

The first Undergraduate Library was established on the first floor of the Main Library in 1949, as part of a one million dollar post-war expansion. This campus drive to expand services to undergraduates eventually led to the current Undergraduate Library building opened to campus in 1969 to better support a growing undergraduate population. Today, the UGL helps support more than 33,000 undergraduate students, in addition to the graduate students, staff, and faculty who utilize our resources and services. 

Please join us as we celebrate throughout the semester! Our full schedule of events is below: 

Photo Booth

Monday, September 9 from 3-7pm

50 Donuts an Hour

Monday, September 23 from 12-10pm

50th Anniversary Button Making Event

Monday, October 7 from 3-7pm

Birthday Cake!

Monday, October 21 from 2-4pm

Photo Booth

Monday, November 4 from 3-7pm

DIY Whiteboard Artwork (week-long event)

Begins: Monday November 11 

Ends: Friday November 15


Want to know more? Explore the UGL website to learn more about the history of the UGL — we hope to see you this semester!


Written and Edited by Lauren

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